KenW writes "Mozilla has launched a new marketing campaign to promote Firefox: adopting red pandas and putting them on live webcams. The company wants to underline the fact that the red panda is the mascot for its open source browser via a new section on its site called Firefox Live. It's clear that Mozilla is trying to think of new ways to promote its browser ahead of the launch of Firefox 4. The company has been struggling recently as Firefox steadily loses share to Google Chrome."
Today BioWare unveiled the most impressive new class yet seen for their upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sarlacc Enforcers are "paragons of patience and planning, always waiting for the right moment to pounce on their quarry – even if it takes one thousand years." Gamespot had an interview with the game's developers to get a clear picture on how such a unique and innovative class was designed. Quoting: "Well, this is a stealth class, so the soloing experience of the Sarlacc enforcer is going to be a little slow. [This character] spends a lot of time slowly sneaking into position before unleashing potent close-ranged attacks, such as 'devour.' But once exposed, the enforcer heavily relies on companion characters to lure enemies close, so he/it can unleash his/its close-ranged attacks. However, the enforcer shines in a group, especially when paired with a Jedi consular that can knock enemies toward him. At this point, the Sarlacc enforcer can use his/its powerful suite of damage-over-time abilities, like 'digest' and 'regurgitate.'"
...but your brain?
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."
MojoKid writes "From October to December, the advertising departments of a thousand companies exhort children to beg, cajole, and guilt-trip their parents for all manner of inappropriate digital entertainment. As supposedly informed gatekeepers, we sadly earthbound Santas are reduced to scouring the back pages of gaming review sites and magazines, trying to evaluate whether the tot at home is ready for Big Bird's Egg Hunt or Bayonetta. Luckily, The New York Times is here to help. In a recent article provokingly titled 'Ten Games to Cross off Your Child's Gift List,' the NYT names its list of big bads — the video games so foul, so gruesome, so perverse that we'd recommend you buy them immediately — for yourself. Alternatively, if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20, this is the newspaper clipping to stuff in your pocket. In other words, if you need a list like this to understand what games to not stuff little Johnny's stocking with this holiday season, you've got larger issues you should concern yourself with. We'd suggest picking up an auto-shotty and taking a few rounds against the horde — it's a wonderful stress relief and you're probably going to need it."
Strange, we think that a comet wiped out the dinosaurs, and yet another comet like this one could sustain the glycine-deficient dinosaurs at Jurassic Park!
xp65 writes "NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. 'Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins, and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet,' said Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. 'Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts.'"
A round-table discussion at Gametopius looks into the state of downloadable content for games as it has evolved over the past several years, going from an occasional, welcome supplement to being a common marketing strategy for most of the industry, frequently causing irritation over pricing and availability. "All of the map packs so far released for the Call of Duty games have been $10 each to download on consoles through closed networks, while PC gamers could download those same packs for free off of FileShack or somewhere else. Valve's own Team Fortress 2 has received a significant amount of DLC that's been completely free on the PC. Xbox owners of the same game, however, have only received perhaps half of that content, and they have had to pay for it in $5 packs. Why is this? The idea of this kind of content delivery was scarcely heard of on consoles, so console gamers see no reason not to pay for it. But on the PC, these amounts of content are usually just considered parts of patches. Furthermore, why pay for a few extra maps and costumes when modders are making and offering new ones for free all the time?"
I neglected to see the "Hardware" tag for this article and immediately assumed the article was about freaks of biological science, the mice that were engineered into crazy shapes but that didn't get the positive press that the mouse-with-ear-on-back (http://meredith007.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/mouse-human-ear.jpg) got. You know, rodents shaped like pyramids, steering wheels, trackball rats. Why, I once saw a mouse genetically engineered to have a little phosphorescent red light on its belly that lit up when ever someone dragged it along a flat surface.
Harry writes "For every blockbuster of the mouse world (such as Microsoft and Logitech's big sellers) there have been countless mice that flopped, or never made it to market. Mice shaped like pyramids; mice shaped like Mickey; mice that doubled as numeric keypads or phones. Even one that sat on your steering wheel. I've rounded up some evocative patent drawings on twenty notable examples."
For those who are interested, there is a fine little FREE app called Dictionary! (previousy Dictionare) for iPhone/touch that features all the dirty words you could ever want. Its entries are not hugely detailed, but when you want an uncensored definition, it's the way to go. For example, when I fill the search field with "fuck" it gives me entries for 'fuck', 'fuckup', 'fucker', 'fucking', 'fuckhead', 'fuck all', 'fuck off', 'fucked-up' and 'fucking(a)'. Frankly, I find all of these wonderful descriptors for Apple's retard-power over the App store.
EA has announced that The Sims 3 will be getting its first expansion pack on November 16th, titled World Adventures. It will be available at first for the PC and Mac clients, and later for mobile platforms. "Players can take their Sims on new journeys to famous real-world inspired destinations around the globe for the first time ever and seek out new adventures. ... From mastering martial arts in Shang Simla, China, discovering rich culture and famous landmarks on a romantic getaway to Champs Les Sims, France or exploring the depths of ancient tombs in Al Simhara, Egypt, players can take their Sims on a journey that will change their Sims' lives." EA's Lyndsay Pearson spoke further about the expansion in an interview with IGN.
My hope is they turn Dinosaur Comics into a flipbook!